CIBC’s Nesbitt Says U.S. Retail-Bank Takeovers Unattractive Given Returns

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce is unlikely to make a U.S. bank acquisition because potential deals wouldn’t generate enough profit, Senior Executive Vice President Richard Nesbitt said.

U.S. retail-banking returns “aren’t that attractive to Canadian banks,” Nesbitt said today at the Bloomberg Canada Economic Summit in Toronto.

Canadian banks used their relative strength compared with U.S. lenders during the financial crisis to buy banking assets in the U.S. and globally. Bank of Montreal (BMO) agreed in December to purchase Wisconsin lender Marshall & Ilsley Corp. for about $4 billion in its biggest takeover to date. Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD), which has more branches in the U.S. than it does in Canada, bought auto lender Chrysler Financial in April for about $6.3 billion.

Scotiabank doesn’t expect to buy a U.S. consumer bank but will continue looking at expansion where it already does business around the world, said Brian Porter, the lender’s group head of international banking.

Porter also said Canadian bank mergers, which are restricted by the federal government, won’t happen “in our lifetime.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Sean B. Pasternak in Toronto at spasternak@bloomberg.net; Hugo Miller in Toronto at hugomiller@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Scanlan at dscanlan@bloomberg.net; David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net.

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